Downtown Veracruz didn't have that much to offer in my opinion. Lots of t-shirts, paper and plastic fans with "Veracruz" printed on them, and other "made in China" items. I was looking for pottery, copper items, tapestry, etc made by local artisans, so when I heard about the artisan market I was excited about the possibilities. There were some sandals that might be made locally, and some clothing items that are more likely from China, but nothing unique or artistic that I could find. Better to find a Fonart store (Fair Value Artisan store sponsored by the Gvt) where there are truely unique items. I don't know if there is one in Veracruz, but Mexico DF has them.
If you're looking for a tequila shot glass, a t shirt, a fan, or braided bracelets... you should give it a look. Also they have limited leather, jewelry, and indigenous style clothing. For pottery, tapestries, glassware, metal worked items, paintings, etc... it's not the place.
Fun Alternatives: Fonart stores supported by Mexican government...
Near the aquarium (which is quite nice) there is a beach & a row of boats (& very energetic boat-operators) offering trips ot ¨Cancun sito¨ (beach, swimming with sharks, etc)
Cost is $ 8 each and the gist of the trip is paddling in a sandbar in the middle of the sea for an hour and a half. The locals seem to like it, though...